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What are some interesting facts about John Locke?

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John Locke is regarded as one of the most fundamental philosophers in the world, being responsible for greatly influencing the ideals behind both the French Enlightenment and the American Revolution, as well as founding the philosophical school of thought called Realism. John Locke was born in 1632, went on to study at Oxford University, where he studied medicine.

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As well as being a major driving force behind philosophy, Locke also wrote the often referenced "Two Treatises on Government," which attacked the status quo of power in England. These texts went on to become a fundamental backbone of political thought after the English civil war, before spreading across to Europe and America.

Locke was the first to argue against the God given right of kings, stating that:

  • All human beings are born equal, and any power the ruling classes or government have is ultimately derived from the people, not an inherent God given right to rule.
  • All individuals have a right to own property, and such property should never be taken without consent.
  • If ruling bodies seize property without consent, or refuse to acknowledge the people and their well-being as the source of ruling power, then the people have a right to resist and remove said power structures.

Although much of Locke's political thought was a product of the time, many of these values have formed the foundations for modern democracy, morality, and human rights that continue to this day.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How are governments formed according to John Locke?

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    According to John Locke, governments are formed through the consent of the people being governed. These political entities primarily exist to preserve the fundamental rights of the people and to promote the general welfare of the public.

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  • Q:

    According to John Locke, what is the purpose of government?

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    John Locke believed that the purpose of the government was to help all people achieve equal natural rights, and that the government was obliged to protect and defend its citizens. Locke rejected the belief that some people were born to divinely rule over others simply because they belonged to a higher class. Locke firmly believed that even a monarchy should only reign with the consent of the people. His wayward, radical beliefs at the time made him a target for British monarchs that believed average citizens should stay in their place and out of government activities.

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  • Q:

    What colony was founded by John Locke?

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    John Locke never founded a colony, but his teachings and philosophy were inspired by Roger Williams, who founded the colony of Rhode Island on a basis of religious freedom. Locke's philosophy inspired the likes of Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton.

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  • Q:

    What was John Locke's theory on social contract?

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    John Locke believed that social contract occurred when men would transfer some or all of their rights to the government in order to ensure a comfortable living. Locke felt that social contract was part of a man's promise for freedom.

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